I’ve heard so many amazing things about the Battle of the Paddle over the past couple of years, that I knew I had to attend this event sooner than later… Preferably sooner.
The Superbowl of SUP, the biggest SUP event on the Planet, the best weekend ever on an SUP… The list continued to the point where I really started to feel I was missing something major by not attending.
2010 was to be THE year, the year I was to finally get to the BOP. That is until that piece of paper came in the mail. Bedazzled with fake diamonds, a pink bow, all enclosed in an intricately folded envelope. “You are requested to be in attendance on October 2nd, 2010 for the marriage of”… Shit, maybe next year.
Starting on the Tuesday leading up to the races, reading my Facebook newsfeed was like an extra large kick in the teeth… “I’m in SF on the way to BOP!”, “YVR-PDX-LAX, BOP”, “just got back from sweet surf session at Doheny, amazing!”, etc. etc. The build up was unprecedented, and unprecedentedly depressing for me as pretty much everyone I knew that’s involved in the Canadian SUP race scene was making their way down to Southern California for the weekend of events.
So on Saturday morning, I tuned into the webcast to check out all the action I was missing out on. Danny Ching blazing the field with Jamie Mitchell rolling in at second place, Candice Appleby taking first place in the ladies.
It really was impressive to see the contrast between the pros and the rest of the field… Fluid, rapid strokes propelling their boards through the surf, in between the other competitors and around the buoys… Quite the sight to see for sure!
And though the video feed didn’t show much beyond the race action and the chicane transfer section on the beach, you could just tell the atmosphere on land was absolutely electric!
So anyways… Enough of my “on the outside looking in” banter, here are a few posts from some of our fellow Canadian racers who were lucky enough to be in attendance…
- Lina Augaitis: “I have to say I am even more hooked than I was before, and even more keen to teach, to motivate, to give others this opportunity to enjoy this awesome new sport.”
- Kelvin Humenny: “met legendary Gerry Lopez as well as surf pioneer Mickey Munoz. Surfed some very nice clean waves as well…”
- Norm Hann: “I was super excited to be competing in, and experiencing the superbowl of SUP racing.”
- Bob Putnam: “Too much fun? If there can be too much fun, my recent trip to California for the Battle of the Paddle (BOP) was dangerously close.”
- Kevin O’Brien: “Plenty of crazy falls, collisions, and wild action for one of the most amazing sporting events you’ll ever see.”
I gotta admit it wasn’t all bad… Even though I constantly wished I could have been down in Dana Point, the wedding ended up being a really good time. Like, for a wedding at least.
Next year… Next year for sure!